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Feature Stories

NEWS | June 26, 2018

Combat Aviation Soldiers swap maintenance expertise with Royal Jordanian Air Force

By Capt. Aaron Rosheim and Sgt. Andrew Shipley, 449th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs Task Force Spartan

Soldiers assigned to the 449th Combat Aviation Brigade were the first to rub shoulders and swap UH-60 Black Hawk maintenance expertise with members of the Royal Jordanian Air Force during their two-month mission to support the U.S. Embassy’s military assistance program in Jordan starting on March 16, 2018.


During their mission, soldiers with the 248th Aviation Support Battalion and the 1st Battalion, 244th Aviation Regiment (Assault) made up the eight-man team and worked side-by-side with the RJAF team to focus on three main points: phase maintenance inspections of UH-60A Black Hawks, UH-60M Black Hawk maintenance; and aviation maintenance management training to help strengthen the RJAF’s mission readiness and interoperability between the coalition partners.


“It was an honor to get the opportunity to go to Jordan on this mission,” said 248th ASB Sgt. Christopher Harbeck, the mission’s phase team leader. “We trained alongside the Jordanians and built relationships with them as we worked on their Black Hawks.” 


The team’s biggest achievement was completing the phase maintenance inspection of a UH-60A Black Hawk 11 days ahead of schedule. Phase maintenance is a vital part of aviation operations, prolonging the lifetime of valuable aircraft by identifying and fixing maintenance issues on a routine schedule. 


Senior leaders of the RJAF Air Lift Wing, including the air lift wing chief of maintenance, also met with the team to discuss ideas incorporating beneficial practices of maintenance management.


“It was interesting to share ideas on maintenance management,” said 1-244th AHB Chief Warrant Officer 3 Michael Kelley. “I am impressed at how much they do with the number of airframes they own. We met several key leaders who were so welcoming and open to sharing ideas about maintenance. It was a wonderful experience.” 


The 449th CAB’s mission is to provide aviation strategic partnership training with regional military partners throughout the U.S. Central Command’s area of operation.


“This group was a perfect blend of Soldiers and skillsets, which made this mission highly successful,” said Kelley.